Rifle Help for Next Year
Currently I hunt with a Mosin Nagant (which I love). My first rifle was a winchester, which was sold after I had been out of hunting for a while. I wanted to get back in for cheap, thus the mosin, which I will be using again this year.
I'd like to get around to having a full on deer rifle though, not something that's just been modded to fit my budget like my mosin scout setup currently is so I need some suggestions. I still want a reasonable budget so here are the three options I've come up with so far.
Fully mod a mosin into a custom sporter. I could get a stock off boyds for $100, a new scope and mount, bent bolt and have a gun smith work the whole thing. I'm a fan of this idea, problem being i'm not sure if it would really turn out okay because mosin's werent designed to be hunting rifles, and therefore mods are always 50/50 on working.
Otherwise I'm debating getting a Winchester Model 70 or a Savage 10/110 trophy package (over $100 cheaper and includes the scope). Just not sure on the performance of the savage compared to the legendary reputation of a model 70.
I am a huge fan of the Winchester M70 and just purchased a new one to give as a gift to a deserving service member on a "Wounded Warrior" hunt. Though Savage rifles definitely have their loyal fans, The difference in quality between a Savage bolt gun and Winchester M70 is considerable, having personally owed both rifles. As far as getting a "package" rifle with scope included, many times the scopes included in such a package deal are not of very good quality. They may last a few years, they may puke in short order, who knows.
Our gifted rifle now wears a Leupold VX2 as part of our gift, but you don't necessarily need to go that high $$ to get a decent quality scope. I have owned and still own a large number of scopes made by Bushnell, Burris, Leupold, Minox, Nikon, Pentax, Redfield and Zeiss to name a few. I think dependable quality glass starts with something like a Nikon Prostaff, which can be purchased now for around $130. for a nice 2-7x32 model. Other very nice scopes that go for $200 or less include Redfield Revolution, Burris FFII and Leupold VX1. High magnification is not always helpful in big game hunting and a 2-7x32 or 3-9x40 is as high a magnification as you are likely to ever need.
Good luck with whatever you decide on!
Cruise the gunshows for used or choose entry level
Turner covered entry level scopes real well. I agree completely with his thoughts 150-200 will get you quality in a scope. Rifles are somewhat like cars in that they lose value after they are carried out the door of a gunshop. The used ones at a gunshow may have had almost no rounds fired through them. Be careful of sellers charging the same price as new for one that isn't. I am an admitted rifle snob I like quality ones and have never myself bought an entry level one. I have suggested several people buy entry level Marlins (XL7) in 30-06. At 300.xx these were not expensive but performed very well when I sighted them in. Would I choose them over a 800.xx rifle no, but they cost 300.xx. If I only had 300.xx to spend on a rifle that is what I would buy. I have handled the new Ruger American bolt rifle, it has a price point on sale around 350.xx. If I was recommending an entry level today I would have the person compare the Ruger and the Marlin side by side and pick the one that fits them the best.
HuntingMan has pointed out several times that a person can buy a 700-800 dollar rifle at a gunshow for hundreds off and it may already have a good quality scope mounted on it.
Let us know what you decide, I personally wouldn't touch the Moisin, start over with a dedicated hunting rifle...
I'm fine with getting a used one so long as it doesnt look beat to crap, although i wouldnt mind new (for the simple sake that this will buy lasting me a long time). I did look at the Ruger American yesterday because the price is so amazing but I'm pretty sure I'm going to try to get a Savage 10 in 308 if i can ever find a gunshop with the wood stock in stock. Nikon scope and gun for around $550 synthetic is really hard to beat.
The Winchester mod. 70 is a fine rifle and has proved its self. The ruger M77 is a nice rifle also the new savage rifles or nice also. Don't forget about the ruger all American and the marlin X7 models. Also for optics you can spend over a grand on scopes. I had a Leupold on a rifle and sold it and went to Nikon. lot less money and could not tell the difference. Nikon prostaff 3x9x40. Also don't forget scope mounts. spend the extra money and get the DNZ dead nuts scope mount. well worth the money. I hunted with my old pre 64 win. 30/30 for a few years and saved up some money and kept my eyes open for a good deal. I picked up a browning Abolt in 270 with Nikon scope and DNZ mounts for $350 from a guy that needed cash. Nothing wrong with getting a used rifle if its an up grade.
Take a look at the Ruger American also
Very nice reasonable priced rifle
As the OP only mentioned looking & thinking about two rifles, my comments were originally confined to those two models. I own a good number of rifles (feel free to look at my "Albums" and see some of them). If you want to consider additional rifle models, I'd look at the Ruger M77 (perhaps the finest scope mounting system of any rifle), the Remington Model Seven and Remington M700 on the used market.
We recently purchased a new Ruger American Compact rifle in .243 for a new hunter in our family to start out with. Decent rifle for entry level and very good accuracy as well. However, there is simply way too many synthetic parts involved in building the rifle. I am a fan of metal & wood for my rifles. Rifles made of these traditional materials have stood the test of time for many (hundreds!) years. Some of the new "entry level" rifles are only around as specific models for a couple years. Look at what Remington has produced in just the last 5 years: Model 710, Model 770 and now the Model 783. How easy do you think it will be to find another detachable magazine for a discontinued model 10 years from now when the cheap plastic construction fails?
Just a couple of thoughts to keep in mind as you consider buying a rifle to last you for many years. Buying a higher quality new or used rifle now, may well save you a lot of $$ in the long run. I routinely hunt today with rifles that are 30, 40 and even 50+ years old. Not a plastic part or stock to be found on any of them.
yup. there are a ton of high quality used rifles that a person should look at prior to spending big dollars on some of the new junk being sold out there. I am a fan of the Remington 700 Mountain rifles. The 700 action has been the backbone of the military snipers and that says enough. After Winchester cheapened up the model 70's I lost faith in them, then lately Remington has gone even worse with the models Turner stated above. I have only had 1 experience with a fairly new Ruger 77 in 270 win, and it was a disaster on the accuracy end of things. I know many here like the Ruger line up, I'm not overly impressed. Having said all this, most of today's rifles will shoot better than most average hunters are capable of. I too enjoy hunting with the old stuff, beautiful wood, reasonably accurate, sweet shooting, firearms of yesteryear. Classic firearms become more appreciated as time passes and people find out how impressively they were built. Now if I just had the money to get a 1970 GTO Judge..............
I'm very much a fan of the classics, however most of the ones i find for fair prices tend to be well worn. I'm basically settled on a Savage 110 in .308 with the accutrigger. I like the safety feature (similar to my XD pistol) and the price is almost impossible to beat. $490 brand new with a nikon scope (although i'll be buying a leupold vx-2). Unless of course i find a classic Remington 700 sometime soon (purchase will probably be made around january). I will keep my eyes open to your guys suggestions though, just with what i've found out there i'm pretty set on the savage 110.
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